Another way to skin the cat?

In last year’s Space Elevator Games Climber / Power-Beaming event, the University of Michigan’s MClimber achieved the distinction of being the first Climber to make it to the top of a competition ribbon.¬† They are entered again this year, but have been very quiet about what they are going to do (psst – there are no Climbers entered from Appalachian State, so it’s safe ūüôā )

In this article, Engineers from the University of Michigan have come up with this “By mimicking a brick-and-mortar molecular structure found in seashells, University of Michigan researchers created a composite plastic that’s as strong as steel but lighter and transparent.”

The traditional understanding of how carbon nanotubes will be used to construct the Elevator is by weaving or bonding¬†ultra-long fibers together (at least that’s my understanding).¬† This approach from the U of M is different and may present an alternative way of creating a tether.¬† Yes, I know, there are issues with doing it this way.¬† But this is “rev 1” of this approach and it may turn out to have some promise.

And if it does, next year we may see a University of Michigan entrant into both the Climber / Power Beaming event and the Tether event.¬† Here’s hoping…